Managing complaints and customers in Scotland's public sector: how to get it right (online)
Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
Rosemary Agnew took up the post of Scottish Public Services Ombudsman on 1 May 2017. Immediately prior to this she was the Scottish Information Commissioner (2012-2017).
Since 2001, Rosemary has held various roles in relation to public sector complaints, including with the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission and the Local Government Ombudsman in the UK.
Rosemary is committed to transparent, sustainable improvement in Scottish public services. She sees complaints and what is learned from them as an integral part of the improvement landscape. Equally, she recognises the importance of being the final stage of the complaints process in Scotland for most public services and in ensuring that, where things go wrong for individuals, action is taken to put them right as far as possible.
Director, Scottish Mediation
Graham has been Director of the Scottish Mediation since August 2012. During that period Scottish Mediation have been successful in initiatives around mediation and planning and published a major review of mediation in the justice system in Scotland. He is a pro-bono mediator with the Edinburgh Sheriff Court Mediation Service.
Graham has worked extensively in the third and public sector and brings senior leadership experience, having worked in Student Unions, The Festival City Theatres Trust and the Scottish Ambulance Service. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.
Barrister (England & Wales) and Associate, Brodies LLP
Johanna is a dual-qualified English barrister and Scottish solicitor. Before joining Brodies, Johanna practised at the London Bar for 10 years at a leading public law set of chambers in Gray's Inn Square. Following her time at the Bar, Johanna spent 5 years leading Stirling Council experiencing directly the challenges local government faces in meeting the expectations of its communities and service users. Johanna was the youngest council leader in Scotland at that time and the first woman to lead the council. Johanna is an Associate in our Government, Regulation and Competition team and has extensive experience of acting for (and against) public authorities in Scotland and England. She understands how public authorities and regulatory bodies function and the complex challenges they face. Johanna is experienced and skilled in a wide range of areas, including equalities and human rights, governance, member conduct, education (state and independent schools), planning (for developers and local planning authorities), environment, transport, parking and housing.
Head of Scottish Policy and Public Affairs, Ombudsman Services
Sarah Chisnall joined Ombudsman Services in 2020 where she leads on Scottish public affairs and policy. OS is a not-for-profit organisation based in the North West of England. It is the UK’s Energy Ombudsman as well the UK’s Communications Ombudsman - acting as one of two alternative dispute resolution providers in the telecommunications sector. It administers the POPLA scheme for appeals on private parking charges.
Sarah specialises in providing in-depth analysis and insight into Scottish politics, intelligence and policy development, including climate policy and how it impacts on consumers and consumer protection. Prior to joining OS, Sarah ran her own public affairs agency InsightScotland for almost 10 years. She previously ran the Scottish office of the global public affairs and communications agency, Fleishman-Hillard, where she led the team for 9 years, following a career in local government policy and Scottish FE policy and strategic development and public affairs.
She is passionate about ensuring that there is adequate consumer protection and trust in the emerging technologies and markets needed for the transition to net zero, as well as implementing a green recovery.
Founder and Owner, Diffley Partnership
Mark is a researcher and pollster with over 20 years experience. After 10 years as Director of Ipsos MORI in Edinburgh, Mark set up a new business in 2017, delivering research and insight for clients across the public, private and third sectors in Scotland and further afield. Clients include the Scottish government and other national public bodies, major companies and national and international charities.
In his career Mark has provided polling, analysis and commentary on numerous political events, from elections to the UK and Scottish parliaments to the referendums on Scottish independence and EU membership. He has worked with and advised political parties and campaigns of all persuasions through his career and is a regular media contributor on public opinion and polling.
Chief Officer – Director Customer & Digital Services, City of Edinburgh Council
Nicola has worked across a number of private sector organisations with over 25 years experience in Customer Transformation, Customer Excellence, Partnership working, Commercial negotiations and running large scale global operations.
She has held the position of Operations Director with Prudential and then Capita Outsourcing. Within Capita Nicola was Portfolio Director and had responsibility for multiple brands and organisations such as John Lewis, National Trust, General Motors and 3UK, ensuring operational delivery and excellence was at its optimum, driving customer satisfaction and transformational strategies.
More recently Nicola has joined the City of Edinburgh Council Heading up the Council’s Customer Services Team and Digital Information Technology Team with responsibility and oversight for their 3rd Party IT Partner CGI.
Nicola has a passion for People, Customer Excellence and driving change to benefit the customer and in turn the overall efficiency of Organisations. She is results driven with a passion for forging positive and constructive relationships, transforming organisations at pace with the Customer’s interests at the core of all plans, this ethos not only drives a better service and way of working but also ensures good business practice and operational efficiency.
Director, Message Matters
With nearly 15 years in communications in banking and politics, Andy’s areas of expertise are corporate positioning, reputation management, strategic campaigns and writing.
He also has a background in branding and corporate ID renewal and is a regular contributor to political discussion on TV and radio.
Director, Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
Niki Maclean joined the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) in August 2005 taking on the role of Director in 2010. Niki has specific responsibility for the Investigatory, Scottish Welfare Fund Review and Corporate Services functions. Her focus during this time has been on developing and professionalising SPSO and other complaint handling bodies in order to drive organisational learning and improvement through the lens of complaints handling. In Scotland, this has included focusing on the impact SPSO has on supporting improvement within the public bodies it works with and investigates through a culture of good complaints handling and getting decisions right first time. More widely, across the UK and Irish ombudsman community, Niki has initiated the development of ombudsman wide industry service standards for the benefit of service users. Niki currently sits on scrutiny forums for monitoring organisation and sector performance in both the health and water sectors.
Prior to the SPSO, Niki worked as a senior HR professional within the field of HR, organisation change and development and training across the public and private sectors including the teaching, health, legal and accountancy professions. Niki has a BSc degree in Genetics, is a qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, has a Masters in People and Organisation Development and a qualification in adult teaching.
Deputy Chief Ombudsman, Rail Ombudsman and Dispute Resolution Ombudsman (conference chair)
Judith read Law at King’s College London for 3 years before graduating with honours in 1998. She then went on to complete the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and a training contract before qualifying as a solicitor in 2001. She was previously employed by a City Law firm, practising in Commercial Law. Judith joined the Ombudsman in 2011 and now specialises in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
In 2018 Judith was instrumental in the establishment and implementation of the Rail Ombudsman. In her role as Deputy Chief Ombudsman of the Rail Ombudsman, Dispute Resolution Ombudsman and the Furniture and Home Improvement Ombudsman, she oversees decisions and recommendations and provides training and insight to the sectors and their stakeholders.
Judith is a regular speaker at industry and ombudsman conferences and events and is the current Chair of the Ombudsman Association Policy Network and serves as a member of the Civil Justice Council’s ADR Liaison Panel. She has written extensively on ADR and consumer issues and the co-author of the published Ombudsman content for Atkins Court Forms. She’s also an active member of the EU Consumer ADR collaboration TravelNet, giving her a wide and varied overview of consumer law and policy.
Senior Lecturer in Dispute Resolution, Queen Margaret University
Jane is a Senior Lecturer in Dispute Resolution at Queen Margaret University and Assistant Programme Leader for QMU’s MSc in Dispute Resolution. Her current research focuses on consumer complaints and effective dispute design in the context of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms such as ombudsman and first tier complaint handling. As a former manager in Trading Standards Jane also has direct experience of complaint handling, investigation and enforcement. She is a member of the University’s Consumer Dispute Resolution Centre and has extensive experience of running short courses for professionals for complaint handling organisations and regulators both within the public and private sector. Jane continues to have strong links within the Trading Standards field across the UK and she is a member of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute and works with them as an examiner and moderator.
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Some very good speakers - Really helpful/useful.